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NSW Lost Finger in Workplace Accident 16 Years Ago - Compensation?

Discussion in 'Personal Injury Law Forum' started by James Hemi, 25 July 2015.

  1. James Hemi

    James Hemi Member

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    Greetings.
    I was in an incident 16 years ago and lost most of a finger.
    I was 1 of 2 that shouldn't have been given access to the workplace. I wasn't passed out on the machine I was working on. I have never received any compensation from either my employer of that time or from the company of which this personal injury occurred.
    Please can someone help me?
     
  2. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

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    Generally worker's compensation claims need to be made within 6 months, or three years if the claim was not made earlier due to reasonable cause. This time limit can be extended in limited circumstances. Time limits for claiming - WorkCover

    You could also look at suing your employer for negligence, but I think the limitation period has passed for that as well. Work injury (common law) damages - WorkCover

    I suggest that you call Work Cover NSW and possibly get in contact with Legal Aid or a legal firm to get an idea whether there is precedent for bringing this type of claim so long after it occurred.
     
  3. James Hemi

    James Hemi Member

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    Thank you Ivy.
    I thought a 'compensation claim' (which I believed I recieved) was simply a government payment made to a worker for the loss or impairment of a body part or function. I also believed that my employer at the time would be held responsible for the claim, the same with the company of which the incident took place? The man from Workcover (my case manager) told me that he would report to me the case findings of the incident and that if I didn't hear from him again, "something has corrupted the system". Needless to say that I didn't hear from him again. I was also told that I was not allowed back on the premises of the place the incident took place, which made employment impossible as my employer recieved all supplies from that location.
     
  4. James Hemi

    James Hemi Member

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    Please can you correct me if I'm wrong.
    Time is irrelevant when inappropriate actions lead to unsafe practices resulting in injury, harm or death.
     
  5. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    That's slightly different.

    People often confuse eligibility for workers compensation (which attaches to the worker)*
    with liability for prosecution and/or civil penalty under WHS legislation (which attaches to the employer).**

    In NSW there is a statutory 2 year limit to prosecute***
    unless it's a category 1 offence****

    I agree with those who say above that you may be (as lawyers say) "out of time"
    to bring an action for compensation.
    However, for case-specific advice, you may benefit from a conversation with your union, or
    if you are unaffiliated, with a lawyer who works in the field of personal injury.


    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    * and has largely inflexible time limits (ie the 2 year and very-sometimes 3 year timeframe referred to above)
    ** or what the modern WHS Act calls a PCBU - "Person Conducting A Business or Undertaking"
    *** or commence civil penalty proceedings
    **** category 1 WHS offences (yes, they are crime!) usually involve reckless conduct.
     
    James Hemi likes this.
  6. James Hemi

    James Hemi Member

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    Many thanks.
     

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